Monday, May 13, 2013

Dallas Willard has passed away

I just learned that he died on May 8, five days ago (of pancreatic cancer). At first I was devastated when I heard this. More than anyone else, he is responsible for whatever paltry spiritual growth I've accomplished over the last 15 years or so. I sent him a copy of my dissertation in January, thanking him for his writings and telling how much they have meant to me. I've prayed for his ongoing projects, still listed on his website, and which will now never be written and which I will never get to read: The Rage against Identity: Philosophical Roots of Deconstruction, and The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge. These things just devastate me.

Then I read this reflection by John Ortberg, which starts off by pointing out:

When Dallas Willard was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late summer of 2012, one of his reflections was: "I think that, when I die, it might be some time until I know it." Dallas was always saying things that would never occur to anyone else. He said that a person is a series of conscious experiences, and that for the one who trusts and follows Jesus, death itself has no power to interrupt this life. Jesus himself said that the one who trusts in him will not taste death. 
This morning Dallas Willard passed away. I'm not sure if anyone has told him yet.

So for me to be devastated at his passing is to forget everything he taught. I encourage everyone to read, absorb, and meditate on his books and other writings; here's his website. He was a man that God used to accomplish great things.

Hebrews 5:12-14 says "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." I very much doubt I have much in the way of spiritual maturity, but regardless, Dallas Willard's writings is the solid food.

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